Monthly Archives: March 2016

Batman v. Superman

So, for those of you living under a rock or in a cave and who might not be aware, Batman v. Superman opened in theaters today.

My Facebook feed, however, has been full of pre-screening reviews and yes, pre-viewing reviews. Many of those have come from people who haven’t even seen the movie yet!

You ask how someone can “review” the movie without having seen it? Yeah, I ask that same question. Yet, it doesn’t stop the hordes of people/fans from claiming that it is better than either of the Avengers movies or worse than any version of Batman that exists to date. Extremes on both sides.

Quite frankly, comic fans are passionate about their heroes. And it isn’t just the comic fans. I’ve seen a smattering of comic pros weighing in without having seen the film.

My take?

Well gee, thanks for asking.

First let me tell you that I’m not anticipating liking the movie that much. I tend to like my heroes to be heroic and the DC based films—in general—have taken a darker tone that just isn’t to my liking. I’m good with darker tones for Batman because…well…he’s Batman! But I don’t like those darker tones for Superman. These guys should be—in my mind—almost complete opposites.

So, I’m just not anticipating this to be in my top 10 superhero movies.

But I’m going to go see the movie with my family on Sunday.

Why, you ask, would I go see the movie if I’m not anticipating to like it that much?

Because…it’s a superhero movie. It’s “my” industry. I’ve heard some grumblings about “superhero fatigue” as regards to the films, but I’m one who is glad that we’re seeing mostly good treatments of characters I like. I like that we’re going to have three big budget superhero movies this summer that are rated PG-13 and I can go to with my family. So while I’m not a fan of the darker DC, I know that SOME are. And so I want to see it do well so that we’ll continue to get superhero movies—some dark, some not.

Plus, it’s Batman VERSUS Superman. What superhero fan wouldn’t pay JUST to see those two duke it and to see what possible explanation they could come up with that allows Batman to SURVIVE being hit by Superman?

How about you? Will you see it?

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ACME Comic Con report and Daytona Beach Comic Con

As the weather begins to warm up down here in sunny Florida, convention season is also kicking in to high gear! The ACME one day show at the ACME Superstore on Feb 27 was a smashing success. I was next to my good pals Barry and Jenny Gregory and there were a LOT of comic book creators there. It reminded me much of the great shows I attended in the late 80s early 90s when you could walk by the tables and buy actual COMIC BOOKS from creators instead of just pin-up art. Needless to say, I was very impressed with the show. I was surprised, however, by the fact that none of my “comic writing” students showed up for the event. What a terrific opportunity to meet people actually making comics and they were no where to be seen. What is it they say about leading a horse to water?

ACME produced a “thank you video” after the event and if you’re watching closely, you can spot me and Barry a couple of different times. Here’s that video.

I’m anticipating great things for this upcoming one day show in Daytona Beach. This will be my third time to do a show at Tom Raupp’s fantastic event and I’m super thankful he’s inviting me back. If you’ve seen me post about this show before, you already know my thoughts: fantastic show with a LOT of comics. If you like to buy and read comics, this is the local show for you. There are probably more comics for sale at this one day event than at the “major” shows I’ve been to in the area where the focus in on tv and movie actors. (I don’t have a problem with them, but sometimes don’t understand why they are at a “comic” convention). Here’s the link to the Daytona Beach Comic Convention page on Facebook. Daytona-Beach-Comic-Book-Convention

daytonabeachcomiccon

 

You want to know what my problem with the Daytona show is? Well, thanks for asking—I’ll tell you. Not enough TIME! You see, of course I’m there to sign my books for readers and fans and to promote my work for new readers and fans…but doggone-it, I like to read comics, too! I want more time to shop! I know what you’re saying: “just do it.” Well, there’s usually so much traffic with the creators that I can’t get away that much. This is good thing and not a bad thing, but there are so many comics there that I want to spend more time shopping. Last time I walked away with a stack of about 30 comics!

So, It won’t just be me there, you can also meet comic creators (and my pals) Barry Gregory and Jeff Whiting (who’s running a Kickstarter—click below and go pledge before he’s done! )…and a host of others. Come see me!

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1875051451/extraterrestrial/

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Changing tech and the internet

Recently I was having a conversation with my son Brett about the internet; it was mostly about online gaming, but it was about the internet at large. And I told him about my first experience with the “world wide web,” which I remember clearly.

I’ve probably said here before, but I’ve had email for a long time, since 1989. The first service I bought was America Online (AOL). At the time, it was purely an email thing. I had friends who, about that same time, had other providers. I remember my writer pal Mark McElroy showing me Prodigy (just before I got AOL) and me being impressed. It was basically an email system with some fancy message boards…but it was very impressive. I went with AOL because it was cheaper and I’d just gotten married and moved out into the sticks. AOL, at the time, was done over the phone lines. Thus, if I was “online,” we couldn’t use the phone. A couple of times a day I would log on—send and receive messages—and log off.

When I worked for Malibu, many of the editorial crew also had email, but the company also had an intranet, a system of messaging that only worked in-house. Malibu was incredibly tech savvy, thanks primarily to one of the founders, Chris Ulm, who was a bit of a tech nerd and pushed the tech to the others. I don’t mean to make it sound as if they resisted—they did not (that I’m aware of, anyhow), but it was Chris that pushed using the tech to help the company. Before Marvel shut everything down, I was getting most scripts from my writers either via a floppy disc in the mail, or via email. It was really very revolutionary in house!

Sometime around 1994, I was having a conversation about the “world wide web” with my wife, BJ. She mentioned something about seeing pictures/images, to which I said she was wrong and she had to have been talking about something else. We went to her office and she proceeded to prove me wrong. I was so amazed she had to kick me off her computer. I raced to mine, downloaded early Mozaic…and life was never the same.

When Brett asked me what was the first “online” game I played, I had trouble remembering. It was probably AGE OF EMPIRES around the late 90s with my friend Tony Fortenberry. I remember, however, playing “play by email” games in which I’d take a turn, save it, send the saved file to a friend, they would do the same…and thus we played a game.

And this is only about 25 years ago.

Wow.

What will the next 25 years bring us?

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